Speakout: Time Has Come To Legalize Marijuana

  Speakout: Time Has Come To Legalize Marijuana

Posted by CN Staff on November 14, 2005 at 06:37:21 PT
By Jack Woehr, Special to the News 
Source: Rocky Mountain News 

Denver, Colorado -- The Rocky Mountain News editorializes that the city of Denver must enforce the state pot law in the wake of the repeal of the city ordinance by voters, as if some profound prinicple were at stake here ("City must enforce state pot law," Nov. 7). In fact, the marijuana laws of Colorado and the United States are a profound negation of American principle. First, the marijuana laws are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court denied Woodrow Wilson's attempt to extend wartime prohibition of alcohol to the post-World War I era, necessitating the 18th Amendment, later wisely repealed.
Where is the constitutional amendment enabling marijuana prohibition? Next, the laws were founded and steeped in racism against Mexicans and African-Americans. A perusal of the Congressional Record for 1939 is educational in this regard, albeit shocking to modern sensibilities. Third, the laws make no sense. Although Mayor John Hickenlooper frets about marijuana as a "gateway drug," all reputable research suggests that much more easily obtainable cigarettes and alcohol are the "gateway drugs" of America's youth. Shall we lock up Hickenlooper himself in a cell with the Coors family? Finally, the entire drug panic in American life is like a national mental illness. The fanatical element of this vice crusade was instituted by two presidents (Nixon and Reagan) in whose adminstrations the CIA undisputably engaged in massive drug smuggling. This crusade has effectively elevated the laws of contraband above the laws of theft and murder; has institutionalized the suborning of perjury in the federal prosecutorial organs; has chipped away at several items of the Bill of Rights such as the Fourth Amendment; has corrupted the intelligence organs of the world with a wash of easy drug money; has erected narcocracies and terror in parts of Latin America and Asia; all without making much of a dent in consumption. What sort of inhumanity spawns the belief that the vice of a drug habit can be stemmed by draconian law enforcement? Or that such a practice enhances the safety or comity of our civilization? The religious prohibition of alcohol in the Muslim world has been vigorously enforced since the seventh century, yet millions of Muslims still drink: Is that a model for America? Better to take the money and erect Betty Ford clinics for the poor, and to frown on the vice through social disapprobation, as we do with other vices. Smoking pot is indeed a vice. It can sap the will and damage the lungs. But overall, marijuana is indeed safer than alcohol, as all but the purchased science of the prohibitionists recognizes. The acrid smell of marijuana smoke pervades modern American culture. Petty vice will always be with us. Pot just ain't worth the fanatical and hopeless effort to extirpate it. It's time to give up the crusade and legalize marijuana. Jack Woehr has three times been on the ballot for public office in Colorado on a platform of ending the war on drugs.Source: Denver Rocky Mountain News (CO)Author: Jack Woehr, Special to the NewsPublished: November 14, 2005Copyright: 2005 Denver Publishing Co.Contact: letters rockymountainnews.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Safer Choice Must Enforce State Pot Law Considered 'Murder Weed' in 1937

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Comment #6 posted by global_warming on November 18, 2005 at 16:45:08 PT
Democracy and Cannabis
Denver, Colorado -- The Rocky Mountain News editorializes that the city of Denver must enforce the state pot law in the wake of the repeal of the city ordinance by voters,The people, Have brought forward "democracy"A systemThat allows every human beingTo "vote" and shape our worldOur worldScarred with wars and ignoranceWith one opened handThis nightmare of realityCan taste eternal banishmentWith one opened handThis tight fisted angerTwinkleOne blink of your eyesCan fill your eternal soulSacred balmsUnite allOur childrenOur familiesOur living testaments'WE..bring forwardOn that tableBefore the everlasting Light
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Comment #5 posted by cloud7 on November 14, 2005 at 08:44:13 PT
This ought to be made into a plaque
"But overall, marijuana is indeed safer than alcohol, as all but the purchased science of the prohibitionists recognizes."purchased science -- priceless
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on November 14, 2005 at 08:18:27 PT

I know that Ohio's laws seem better then most areas too of the country. Our laws were changed many years ago and not by voting for change but it's in the state constitution I think. When I read our police log from our once a week paper there is never anything about marijuana arrests in it. The laws in Ohio seem to be more like a public nuisance law or something like that. It has made Ohio a much safer place to live and violence doesn't happen often except domestic violence and drinking is involved with it most times.
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on November 14, 2005 at 08:11:59 PT:

He's got soul.
Here is another American in love with truth and freedom."Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it". Braveheart
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Comment #2 posted by Gary Storck on November 14, 2005 at 08:06:15 PT

First city to legalize?
I wrote an LTE to the LA Times opining Madison was the first city to legalize pot when voters passed Ord. 23.20 in April 1977. They countered that because public possession here still can involve a small fine, even though private posssession of 4 ounces is legal, that Denver's new law trumped it.Technically, that might be right, but I would offer that in general, cannabis users enjoy more freedom in Madison than Denver.
Text of Madison WI Ordinance 23.20
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 14, 2005 at 07:36:13 PT

Published LTE from The Colorado State Collegian
Alaska Legalized Marijuana FirstNovember 14, 2005As a student and daily reader of the Collegian it deeply disturbs me that on the front page of an issue of your paper that an (article) would be completely false and nearly devoid of fact. And that the writer of the (article) obviously did not research this as well as it should have been.The city of Anchorage, Alaska as well as the whole state of Alaska would be the first to legalize possession and use of marijuana in 1975, a decision by the state Supreme Court. It was re-criminalized in 1990 but recently overturned, making pot legal. On a lesser note several other cities have de-prioritized possession of marijuana essentially making it legal to possess. Those cities are Seattle, San Francisco and Oakland, Calif.; Amherst, Mass.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Madison, Wis., among other places.This can all be verified here: Denver's law is a monumental step for marijuana advocates, it isn't the first and shouldn't be sensationalized as such.Sincerely,S.J. BrooksJuniorliberal artsEditor's note: Denver was, in fact, the first city in the nation to fully legalize the possession of any amount of recreational marijuana. The city of Anchorage, Alaska did not legalize the drug. Rather, the state of Alaska legalized possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana for recreational use. The decision was handed down in a state court located in Anchorage.Copyright: 2005 Colorado State Collegian
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